Vettori tells bowlers to step up
Daniel Vettori has asked his bowlers for a significant impact in Dunedin when New Zealand launch their home series in tomorrow's first Test. Jacob Oram's retirement from Test cricket means the hosts will play a sixth specialist batsman, leaving Vettori and three seam bowlers to combat a "dangerous" Pakistan side.
"You want to perform in all disciplines," said Vettori. "I think there's going to be a focus on the batting but when you're going in with four bowlers, you want to make sure all four step up. In the past we've probably had a bit of a luxury with the all-rounder but this time round everyone has to step up and do their job. That's going to be the key throughout the summer, that we get players performing at the right times."
Vettori took a blow to to his right elbow while batting in the nets yesterday, but had a bowl to suggest his injury is not too serious. "I wouldn't say fully, but I'll be fine," he said, playing down the need to make Grant Elliott, carrying a knee niggle, pop into the side. "In a desperate situation we could call on him, but we'd rather not," he said. "We'd rather stick to the four bowlers. It probably means an increased workload for me in particular, but I think that's a good thing.
"We have to be honest and acknowledge that our batting hasn't been as good as we'd like but I've seen some really good improvements in some of the guys. Now we go into a Test match with six batters and their role is to bat. None of them have to worry about bowling so hopefully them, combined with Brendon [McCullum] and myself, can get the job done."
Pakistan have not played a Test since this summer, but Vettori was not about to take them lightly, "They're a dangerous side," he said. "They've got a very balanced bowling line-up and they've got one of the greatest batsmen of the modern generation in Mohammad Yousuf, so when you put that together that's a useful side."